Harley Quinn’s Costume Evolution | Yellow Spandex #5 | NowThis Nerd

Hey guys, I’m Kya and this is the episode of 'Yellow Spandex' I’ve been waiting for Harley Quinn is, hands down, my favorite comic book character ever

She’s my favorite, like, anything character ever She’s brilliant, deadly, and just fun to watch Woah, mama! Check out the cute hitchhiker! And her relationship with the Joker has revealed mountains of depth and emotion that I’d never experienced in a supervillain before It also doesn’t hurt that she’s had some of the coolest costumes in comic history So grab your giant mallet and dip those pigtails, because I’m about to take you through The Evolution of Harley Quinn Usually, we start with the comics, since that’s where most superheroes get their start

But that’s too boring of an origin for Harley, so let’s begin where she did: In cartoons If you check out our episode of Yellow Spandex on Batman cartoons, you’ll know what a huge fan I am of ‘The Animated Series’ That’s where Harley first appeared, in the 1992 episode called ‘Joker’s Favor’ Writer Paul Dini wanted to diversify the Joker’s workforce, but he was struggling to find the right personality for his new henchwoman character For inspiration, he dug up a videotape from his old college friend Arleen Sorkin

She once played the comic relief on ‘Days of Our Lives,’ including a dream sequence where she dressed up as a medieval court jester [ARLEEN SINGING] I'm oneth a roleth, get it? He took one look at her in clown makeup and realized she’d be the perfect voice and personality for Joker’s right-hand woman: Dr Harleen Quinzel, AKA

, Harley Quinn I’m obsessed with her original costume design It’s so brilliantly simple and elegant A full body red-and-black jumpsuit decked with playing card diamonds, Some nice ruffles on the collar and wrists and a big ol’ jester hat to top it off I almost got a Harley Quinn diamond tattoo on my thigh before 'Suicide Squad' stole that idea from me

But it's fine I still might get it Who knows? I dunno Maybe TBD It’s a killer design, but it didn’t just look cool

It fit perfectly with everything we’d later learn about the character Harley’s so infatuated with Joker that she basically gave up her own identity and handed it to him She stuffed herself into skin-tight spandex and painted her face because that’s what her Puddin’ likes You know what he doesn't like? Happy anniversary, Mistah J Harley, I'm not in the party mood

And that costume was pretty much her only look for years, outside of sightings in civilian clothes She wore it in the ‘Gotham Girls’ web-series, And in ‘The Batman,’ too I like how they used the bigger Jester hat kind of like faux-hair Y’know, she flips it and all that sh*t She doesn’t really have a costume in ‘The Brave and the Bold,’ but I happen to be in love with flapper dresses that’s fine with me

There's also a cute little appearance of Bat-Mite in a Harley Quinn jester outfit, and it's really cute Who wore it better? Not Bat-Mite There are a couple of decent one-off outfits in the animated movies, too, Like a sleeveless version of her classic look in ‘Assault on Arkham,’ And an extremely creepy rendition of her New 52 outfit in ‘Gods and Monsters’ Which I'm not afraid of I don't get it, someone likes it just not me

She returned to the classic Jester costume in the new ‘Justice League Action’ cartoon, and it’s actually one of my faves I don’t know, I just think it’s cute Not as cute as her ‘DC Superhero Girls’ look, but I like it I got a present for ya! In the cartoons, Harley has always been more of a cute kind of character Like, you wanna go ‘aw, look at her trying to commit mass murder’

Oh, and what are you gonna do, spank us? That's right, pigs! And here's the paddle! In the video games, not so much Loser, loser, loser! Hah! In 2009 Harley got her first major redesign in ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ Her iconic hat is nowhere to be found Instead she’s got two giant pigtails that resemble its old shape Oh, hiya B-Man! Harley Quinn here! How do you like my new uniform? It’s also the first time she sported some new colors, throwing blue into the mix of red and black

She’s got some cool nurse gear to fit the Asylum theme, giant boots and a tight corset showing off more than I was used to with the jester outfit I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t a fan at first Look, I’m human and I don’t like change Break a grandmother's heart! I hope they throw the book at you! Shut up, Nana Harley And these were some pretty big ones, clearly driven by sex appeal

But they also helped change the way I perceived my favorite character She’s not just a one-note sidekick for Mister J to slap around It’s the first time I really saw her as a villain in her own right She’s in the process of liberating herself, and she’s doing it with flair

And y’know I can live with that In the sequel ‘Arkham City,’ she ditched the mask and debuted the dipped ponytail look that Margot Robbie later made famous I’m also a big fan of her mourning outfit from the DLC By ‘Arkham Knight,’ she’s gone full gothic lolita Which works with the story but no spoilers, just play the game

Her ‘Injustice 2’ costume took a lot of cues from her ‘Suicide Squad’ look, including the jacket and baseball bat We’ll get to live-action later, but first we should talk about the comics After appearing in ‘Mad Love’ and the animated tie-in ‘Batman Adventures’ comics, DC finally brought Harley into the main canon in the 1999 comic ‘Batman: Harley Quinn’ For years she continued wearing the jester costume Then in 2011, inspired by her ‘Arkham’ outfit, she got a makeover as part of the New 52 relaunch

The hat was replaced a half-and-half red/black dye job, and somehow, they managed to make her costume even skimpier I guess to make up for it, DC had Joker throw her in a chemical vat so she wouldn’t have to bother with all that tedious facepaint anymore Must make her mornings way easier Her redesign was pretty controversial, but it didn’t look too exploitative when drawn by artists like Amanda Conner, who gave it a roller derby-inspired twist She looks happier and less sexy and more fun

If her costume design isn't fun, it's not Harley She’s recently started to incorporate even more elements from the ‘Arkham’ games and ‘Suicide Squad’ movie, Speaking of which, let’s wrap this up with Harley in live action Harley Quinn, nice to meetcha! Love your perfume, what is that, the scent of death? Harley Quinn was actually going to appear in the sequel to ‘Batman and Robin,’ Joel Schumacher’s ‘Batman: Unchained’ in 1999 Rumor has it that Madonna and Courtney Love were up for the role Her actual live-action debut was on ‘Birds of Prey,’ a short-lived TV show centered on Gotham’s lady crimefighters

She’s way more of a manipulative criminal mastermind in this show, and by the end she winds up with hypnosis powers for some reason Will you do anything I ask? Yes? She never wears a costume, but in the last episode she wears a red and black outfit that’s a definite shout-out Speaking of shout-outs, there’s a blink-and-you’ll miss it Harley cameo in an episode of ‘Arrow:’ Do you cuties need some counselling? I'm a trained therapist! This is bullshit! This is bullshit because I started watching 'Arrow' for Harley Quinn because I saw the clip online of the back of her head and her accent And they took it from me! Also, apparently Barbara Kean is supposed to be ‘Gotham’s’ version of Harley, but besides the fact that she’s a blonde bisexual woman who loves violence, I don’t really see it Finally, we’ve got Harley’s big break: 2016’s ‘Suicide Squad

’ Say what you will about the movie, I like it, but it put her on the map Hey Come on What? I saw it move! See? It flinched, I think F*ck everyone, cause I like 'Suicide Squad

It's popular to shit on, but it did what it's supposed to do! Which is introduce all these characters, it just had a bad plot! Her costume took inspiration from all of her previous looks The diamond patterns from her traditional outfit show up on her tattoos, and in her swanky nightclub outfit in a flashback And the dyed pigtails from ‘Arkham’ are back in full force For a “costume,” she’s mostly wearing torn-up civilian clothes and a gaudy satin jacket It’s not the first image that comes to mind when you think of a supervillain, but the punky outfit matches the grimy, gangster Jared Leto joker

I think my favorite part of Suicide Squad was the tiny glimpse of her jester costume she sees in a vision Mainly because it was a clear shout out to the Alex Ross-painted cover of her comic debut So not only is it a reference to her first canon appearance, but the contrast between the comic-book spandex and her trendy new clothes shows how much she’s matured as a character in the movie Task Force X gave her a purpose in life, away from the Joker’s control She gets back with him at the end, but they planted seeds of hope that she might be more independent by ‘Gotham City Sirens

’ Across all mediums, Harley Quinn has evolved far beyond her origin as a one-note joke in a cartoon show From surviving her abusive, complex relationship with the Joker, to finding strength in her relationship with Poison Ivy and becoming her own person It’s some of the best development a character has ever received in comics Harley Quinn’s growth is exactly what makes her so compelling and what makes her my favorite

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